November 10, 2023
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gave some fans a different type of experience during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Antetokounmpo decided to take in some of the game by sitting courtside after getting ejected for “two unsportsmanlike technical fouls,” CNN reports. During the third quarter at the Fiserv Forum, Antetokounmpo did what he does best by postering over Pistons center Isaiah Stewart with a brief stare down before getting back down court. Referees didn’t find it too amusing and found the emotional reaction was enough to give the NBA champion his second technical foul of the night, which resulted in him being ejected from the games.
His first technical foul was given during the first quarter for the use of profanity towards game officials. Even game commentators expressed confusion of the officials decision.
Surprised by the refs reaction, the two-time MVP then briefly sat with fans who were seated courtside before heading the locker room. After the game, Crew Chief Rodney Mott gave an explanation of why the Bucks big man was ejected.
“After the dunk, Giannis turns to his opponent and taunts him and a taunting technical foul was called, an unsportsmanlike,” Mott explained.
“And he was ejected from the game, per rule, because two unsportsmanlike technical fouls, you are ejected from the game.”
According to the official National Basketball Association (NBA) rulebook, the rule states, “If a player blatantly taunts an opponent, a technical foul shall be assessed.” It continues to say, “If a previous unsportsmanlike act has been committed and if this situation is BLATANT, a technical foul must be assessed and the guilty player(s) must be ejected.”
Fellow NBA player and Bucks teammate Damien Lillard described the refs decision as a “bad tech.”
Head coach Adrian Griffin said he was “surprised” at the call. “It’s an emotional game. He made a phenomenal play,” Griffin said, according to The New York Post. “It was exciting, emotional and I thought he moved on fairly quickly. So, I was surprised with the second technical, but that’s up to the league to decide.”
The night wasn’t a total wash as Antetokounmpo finished with 15 points, leading the team to a 120-118 victory.